JCK Announces 2016 Industry Fund Winners

by Robyn Hawk on May 3, 2016

JCK Announces 2016 Industry Fund Winners

JCK announced today the six recipients of its 18th annual Industry Fund for 2016. The grants, which are awarded to individuals, groups, or associations whose work results in the betterment of the overall jewelry industry, topped over $293,000 this year.

The 2016 Industry Fund recipients are: Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), Diamond Council of America (DCA), Jewelers of America (JA), Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), Jewelers Vigilance Canada Inc. (JVC Canada), and Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC).

"We are pleased to stand behind the initiatives of this year's JCK Industry Fund recipients. This group is at the forefront of addressing current challenges for the jewelry industry including: security, protection, consumer confidence and education," explained Yancy Weinrich, Senior Vice President, JCK. "Their approach not only addresses these critical needs but also prepares the industry for the future by educating the next generation of consumers and industry professionals."

The annual fund grants awards to projects that: (1) improve the image of the jewelry industry in the eyes of the consumer, and/or (2) aids jewelry industry organizations in addressing serious problems faced within the industry, and/or (3) assists internal organizations and associations in developing training materials.

Jewelers Vigilance Committee President and CEO, Cecilia Gardner, believes that JCK's continuing commitment to the compliance and monitoring mission of the JVC is unmatched. Gardner explains, "JCK's generous support of JVC has made it possible for the association to accomplish important work on behalf of the industry. Through JVC's Industry Protection Program (IPP) we advocate for all sectors of the trade regarding the many complex rules that impact sellers of fine jewelry. This effort is on-going. In 2016, JVC's IPP will continue to provide legal compliance tools, educate industry members, and help them incorporate the practices necessary to meet the requirements of the law and the needs of their business partners. The Board of Directors of the JVC is so grateful that this important mission is recognized and supported so generously by JCK. Many thanks to the entire JCK team!"

"Jewellers Vigilance Canada and Jewelers Security Alliance applied for a joint submission in order to host a North American Jewelry Crime Conference in Toronto, Canada," explained Phyllis Richard, JVC Canada's Executive Director. "Thanks to the JCK Industry Fund's Grant the two-day event will take place September 26-28, 2016 and allow over one hundred law enforcement and security personnel to not only understand the resources JSA and JVC Canada provide to them but also learn investigative techniques and tools specifically designed for jewelry crime as well as gain experience and expertise in fighting jewelry crime."

John Kennedy, President of JSA further added, "This grant will result in greater cooperation by law enforcement agencies and security personnel in Canada and the U.S. in combatting the international criminal gangs and fences that prey on the diamond, jewelry and watch industry in both countries."

Nancy Orem Lyman, Diamond Empowerment Fund's Vice President and Executive Director stated, "The JCK Industry Fund's support has made it possible for the Diamond Empowerment Fund to reach over 1 million millennials to-date with the consumer confidence-building message that Diamonds Do Good. Their continued support of this message dissemination will enable us to grow our momentum and help foster positive narratives around diamonds and the diamond industry with consumers."

"The retail landscape is changing at lightning speed and we are committed to helping the industry stay relevant and adapt to new consumer shopping behaviors," says Jewelers of America President & CEO David Bonaparte. "Thanks to the generosity of the JCK Industry Fund grant, our new initiatives will help the industry have a better understanding of the consumer landscape. With consumer research as the foundation, we will be able to create marketing and communication programs that reach consumers more effectively and increase desire for jewelry."

Diamond Council of America's President Terry Chandler noted, "The Diamond Council of America is indebted to the JCK Industry Fund for it's generous matching grant that will be used to provide scholarships to the high school students participating in DCA's Jewelry Industry Readiness Initiative. (JCRI) The JCRI program takes DCA's Diamond, Sales, and Colored Gemstone courses into high schools throughout the United States allowing students to graduate high school with a jewelry industry certification. The ultimate outcome of this program is to reach thousands, even millions, of young people predisposing them to appreciate our product and seek employment in our stores."

An Industry Fund Advisory Committee, consisting of representatives from JCK, in addition to retailers and manufacturers, selects fund recipients. Submissions of applications for the 2017 grants will begin in October. Click here for more information on the JCK Industry Fund.

For more information on JCK Industry Fund, please click here.

About The JCK Industry Fund:The JCK Industry Fund, now in its eighteenth year, was established to enhance the image of the jewelry industry and to foster development and research of programs that would benefit the industry. Each year, grants are distributed from the JCK Industry Fund to individuals, groups or associations who work towards the betterment of the overall industry. To date, this fund has awarded over $5 million in grants to those organizations or individuals who have created programs that improve the industry's image. The JCK Industry Fund is underwritten by JCK.

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